So, you’ve decided word-of-mouth is an effective way to market your business.
You certainly aren’t alone in thinking that. But the question is, how do you get your customers to talk about and review your restaurant?
If you seem to be running up against a wall in this area, it could be that you need to give your customers something worth talking about.
You might have great food and great service, but that isn’t always enough to stick out in people’s minds – especially in today’s busy and noisy world. You might need to give something a little extra.
Here are several ways to get people talking about your restaurant.
Organize Special Events
Are there any restaurants in your area hosting special events? If not, you could separate yourself from the crowd by hosting concerts, holiday parties, wine tastings, charity events, cooking classes, and so on.
The overall goal of these events should be to create a memorable experience for your patrons. If they enjoy themselves, they’ll certainly want to come back, and they may even tell a friend or two.
If you have a good handle on who your target customer is, you should be able to build your event calendar around acts and events they would enjoy. Beware of over-committing, however, as hosting will require some time and effort on your part.
Offer Special Promotions
People love going out. But they also love saving money and getting things for free when they can. Special promotions can help you draw more people to your place of business, which can lead to more people talking about you.
This could take the form of a Friday night burger special, or even free desserts for a table. Look for opportunities that make sense for you and your customers.
If you can, overdeliver on your promises. For instance, if Saturday is pizza day, ensure the pizza is something your customers will want to come back for. Make it the best dish you can.
The power of celebrity is undeniable. Getting influential people talking about you and your restaurant can lead to a lot of exposure and business. This, however, will require some planning.
Famous people aren’t just going to come to your restaurant for no reason. The better option would be to contact local bloggers, reviewers, journalists, media people, and social media influencers to come to your restaurant.
Naturally, you will need to offer something in exchange for their time. But if you can create a buzz online, you’ll have articles, posts, and quotes you’ll be able to leverage on social media as well as your website.
Give Back To The Community
Caring about the community will lead to great business opportunities. This certainly isn’t the only reason to give back, volunteer, or help raise funds, but the value is certainly there.
The act of giving back can also help separate your restaurant from the competition. You’ll start to stand out among the many dining options available to your target customers.
Again, act with congruence. Look for opportunities that line up with your values and esthetics as a business.
Today, strategic partnerships are starting to become more in vogue for restaurants. The Hard Rock Café, for instance, recently partnered up with five emerging artists to launch their new WAX program celebrating vinyl records.
This mostly comes down to what you represent as a restaurant. You must ensure that the partnership makes sense based on your branding and overall goals.
But fundamentally, there is no shortage of methods for getting people to talk about you, from guerrilla marketing to referral programs. The key will be to test, track, and determine what works best for you. Begin simply and then try new and different things based on what’s working and what isn’t.